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Outsourcing payroll: Who do you prefer, a privately owned local payroll company or one of the big guys, and why?

I am trying to gather decision making data as to why decision makers will choose a certain vendor over another. Why are larger vendors chosen over the local, smaller companies and vice versa.

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I think people that choose one of the big guys do so because they are a known quantity. The smaller companies don't have as many reviews, and in some cases, can't provide all the services that are needed. They don't know what they are missing, as many clients go back & forth from ADP to Paychex because of problems.

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I prefer the smaller local option. You usually get better service.

The only caution I would give is to make you check them out in advance, I would talk with previous customers and get references.

Make sure they are responsible to do the job correctly and there are provisions to in the contract to hold them accountable. (i.e. you don't want to be stuck paying interest and penalties because they missed a filing).


I would prefer the smaller privately owned company. You'll be treated like a person and not a number. With a larger company you will get lost in the shuffle.


While the larger vendors may offer you more discount, the local vendor offers you a more personalized service, and typically can offer a competitive pricing. We are a small business of under 10 employees and outsource to a local company for payroll and insurance. We get great service. They know us by name. They know our needs and are more flexible with plans that suit our needs.

and, larger does not necessarily denote more experience.


I may be bias given my position but the larger firms have more buying power to leverage. They can offer fortune 500 benefits to the employees of small businesses and can take on more risk.

They also usually have systems in place that can streamline the HR process and added services that smaller vendors can't offer. This type of consolidation is usually attractive to those looking for a simple time saving solution.


I choose larger vendors, reason being they are much more experienced than the smaller companies and have quality in their work and the Brand Name!!!


Thank you to everyone who has provided their opinion to this question! I really appreciate it.

If I may ask a secondary question to this: When choosing a vendor in general for any product or service what is important to you?

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

There needs to be a comfort level there. You won't choose a vendor just to choose one. You want to make sure you are confident they have your needs in mind.

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